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A new trend for how we sauna.

Saunas and communal, co-ed bathing is one of the hottest wellness trends we're seeing. Not only do saunas provide self-service wellness with proven benefits, but they are also healthy, positive places for communal gathering and bonding.

Demand for saunas that can accommodate Sauna Aufguss and other performances is surging across the US and the UK. DFL, pioneers in this specialty, and the team behind the first-ever US Event Sauna at Resorts World AWANA Spa & Wellness (pictured throughout), now offers a complete Event Sauna Services program. 



These specially-designed, large-scale saunas typically accommodate at least 10 people (the largest in the world hosts up to 300!). In addition to housing more bodies than is typical, Event Saunas also need to provide enough space for an attending Sauna Master to perform the “Art of Aufguss” or to lead group experiences, like meditation or breathwork.


Aufguss (loosely translated from German as “infusion,” describes the act of pouring water on the hot stones of the sauna heater, something a sauna attendant would typically handle) has evolved from its humble beginnings into an engaging performative art display, complete with high-tech sound systems and light shows. The popularity of Aufguss in Europe has borne an entire industry and community, that culminates in an annual Aufguss World Championship.


Design for Leisure (DFL) designed and built the first-ever Event Sauna in North America at Resorts World AWANA Spa & Wellness in Las Vegas. “Sauna Aufguss” is a practice deeply rooted in the past when “sauna masters” would stand at the ready, circulating heat, humidity and aroma infusions through the waving of towels. Today, this ritual has evolved into something more performative (perfect for the Las Vegas strip!) and sauna masters have developed towel rituals to include full-blown dance routines; with costumes; singing; chanting and even laser and smoke shows.

Photo Credit: Meg Blair

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DFL has over 30 years of sauna design and build experience and is uniquely suited to helping commercial properties correctly implement an Event Sauna.  While these saunas can be operated as traditional Finnish saunas when performances aren't going on, the opposite does not hold true: 

Event Saunas must be purpose designed and built from the outset.

Event Sauna Design


The focal point of an Event Sauna is always the sauna heater, which should be creatively clad and illuminated for maximum visual impact. There needs to be adequate room for Sauna Masters to perform, so good space between the heater and the first bench is required. The sauna heater itself must also be designed specifically for Aufguss, ensuring rapid reheating of the rocks after each dramatic, infusion of water and/or aromatic ice balls by a Sauna Master. Ventilation to the heater is also essential in keeping the room well oxygenated.

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Benches in an event sauna must be at least two tiered, the lower level being deeper to allow guests to sit comfortably in front of the legs of guests sat on higher levels. High-quality audio/visual equipment is imperative. Speakers are ‘club quality’ and capable of high volumes with powerful sub-woofers hidden under benches (of course, they must be able to withstand the heat of the sauna).


Theatre-style lighting is also required, but it can't take the intense heat of the sauna, and must be specially rigged on trusses above the sauna and projected through double-glazed glass panels in the ceiling. 

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An adjacent control room, with a viewing window into the sauna, not only accommodates the racks that house the computers and equipment required to run the dedicated audio/visual displays, but the window gives a technician a clear view of performance cues.


While Event Saunas offer a new way to connect with – and delight – current and future guests, there’s another more tangible benefit: an entirely new revenue stream.


Here’s an equation to help calculate the ROI (return on investment) of an Event Sauna:

For performances, you can charge an additional $20, and let's assume only two performances a day (four is more likely). If your capacity is 100 per day and you're running at 50%, then a simplistic calculation is: 50 x $20 x 2 = $2,000/day x 365 = $730,000 additional annual income. (Plus, you can likely generate more beverage sales.)


The cost to run an Event Sauna is minimal. Sauna Masters will be specially trained members of your current spa staff (of course you'll want to remunerate them for their skills/performances, but they will already be on payroll). Additionally, incremental revenue can be made through hosting special events with visiting Sauna Masters who can demand premium rates for performances.



USA: +1-512-831-2726 
UK: +44 208 363 4036

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